College Outreach Program
||They say I have
a free choice. But without housing on campus for me and my baby,
without on-site daycare, without maternity coverage in my health
insurance, it sure doesn't feel like I have much of a choice.
What's Wrong With This
When Feminists for Life speakers address college
audiences, we ask, "Do you know anyone on campus who has become pregnant?"
Audience members nod.
Then we ask, "Have you ever seen a visibly pregnant
student on campus?" The nodding stops.
What's wrong with this picture? According to Planned
Parenthood's research arm, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 10% of all
college-age women become pregnant each year. Where have all the pregnant
women gone? One of two things happens:
- Women have abortions. Women
seek help and support from counselors, friends, or family. What
they hear is: Abortion is the answer. Don't give up your dreams. Make
the "problem" go away. Women know deep down that it's not so simple,
but what other choices do they have? One of every five abortions
is performed on a college woman.
- Women quit school to have their baby.
Women cannot find the practical or emotional support they need to
be both parents and students, so they must leave school. They intend
to return someday soon, but many never do.
The numbers are chilling. Here's what happened in
just one year, for example, at one university in the northeast, based
on figures provided by the school's health center and a nearby pregnancy
Of 3,000 college women, 600 had pregnancy
tests; 300 of these tests were positive; and 6 women had babies.
The math is pretty simple.
Looking around most of today's college campuses,
you would have no way of knowing that there are options other than abortion.
College students constantly hear a one-sided message.
Abortion is essential to women's
It's your choice.
Statistics and women's own experiences show these
statements to be false, yet they are terribly effective. In fact, a
1996 Gallup poll found that the college experience for women is "a major
- even revolutionary - influence" when it comes to their views on abortion:
Women with a high school education are more
pro-life (47%) than pro-choice (37%), while those who have attended
college but not completed a four-year program are more pro-choice
(59%) - an increase in the pro-choice group of 22 points. The margin
of pro-choice over pro-life responses is even greater among women
who have completed a four-year college program - 73% to 24%.
Addressing the Real Problem
Feminists for Life asks the all-important question:
What do women really want?
Most women do not want to have an abortion.
Most women do not want to leave school. Pregnant and parenting
students want, and deserve, other viable choices.
Feminists for Life's College Outreach
Program is all about choices - the choices women truly want.
The College Outreach Program involves a unique range
of stakeholders: college students, faculty, administrators, counselors,
campus clinic staff and service providers across the ideological spectrum
- pro-life activists, pregnancy care centers, and even abortion providers
and advocates who agree that abortion is a tragedy and are willing to
work with us to address the root causes that contribute to abortion.
Feminists for Life works with these partners on
two levels of action.
- Providing practical resources for pregnant and
parenting students, so they can complete their education.
- Challenging the assumptions that create this
no-win situation for college women - and men.
What People Are Saying
FFL's College Outreach Program
Kathryn Getek, Princeton University, former president,
Ivy League Coalition for Life, said:
"Feminists for Life's strength is in
articulating something known but rarely spoken: being pro-life is
as much about respecting women and equality as it is about protecting
the unborn. Of all the ways that FFL has practiced this belief, the
most effective and remarkable is their College Outreach Program. On
college campuses, for the most at-risk population, FFL approaches
the matter in terms that make people listen. If we truly care about
the rights of women, the very least we can do is make carrying pregnancy
to term a realistic choice. That's exactly what FFL has started to
do with their lectures, Pregnancy Resource Forums, ads and kits. The
lives of women and children are undoubtedly better for it."
Following Serrin Foster's address, "The Feminist
Case Against Abortion," at Swarthmore, the headline in the
campus newspaper spoke volumes about the importance of her message:
"First Pro-Life Speaker in 5 Years Visits"
A student at Villanova, Dorothy Pauch, remarked
after hearing Foster speak:
"When you have speakers
who point out why abortion actually exploits women and hurts them
along with the child, then it really starts to all make sense. Serrin
Foster really showed us by being pro-life you can genuinely help women."
After FFL's first Pregnancy Resources Forum at Georgetown
University, student Vanessa Clay said:
"The audience engaged
in a truly productive discussion despite strong differences of opinion."
Planned Parenthood Federation of
Back to FFL's College Outreach
FFL's College Outreach Program is "the newest and
most challenging concept in anti-choice campus organizing" and "could
have a profound impact" on college campuses "as well as Planned Parenthood's
public education and advocacy efforts."